Hello friends! Starting this week I’m going to start a weekly series regarding wedding planning tips, tricks and survival. Wedding advice is a dime a dozen – there are so many websites, services, shops that you could literally DIY your own wedding. I’ve never felt overly compelled to give my advice to anyone, but this experience has been fun, emotional and so much more, that I want to share our journey with a side of advice. Take it for what it’s worth and just know, that your wedding is YOUR day. Welcome to the First Comes Love, Then Comes Marriage wedding planning series on Sportsanista!Brian and I got engage in November of 2016 during a trip to Scotland, see here. It was such a beautiful day that we will cherish FOREVER! After we had a minute to soak it all in, we hit the ground running with wedding planning!
From the start we took an unconventional approach – we aren’t steering too far off the path, but the main goal is for this to feel like OUR wedding and not something that someone else did. Below I’ve listed out some helpful next steps for a newly engaged couple from my perspective to help you kick start your special day!
CREATE A CHECKLIST
The best way to organize your thoughts are to write a checklist with the highest priority items first. You don’t want to miss out on something because you waited to the last minute to think about it. Heres the thing with weddings, you and hundreds of other couples are getting married at the same time – this makes it some what competitive. Get ahead of the game so you don’t have to compromise any of your fairytale wedding dream!
FIND A VENUE / PICK A DATE
So I’ve got these two things bundled for a couple of reasons, but mainly because one will likely dictate the other. Our date was selected based on what our dream venue had available. If you book far in advance, then you’ll be able to do it the other way around. Since we got engaged in November, our planning efforts for a 2017 wedding were already 6 months behind everyone else! Once you have this off your list, it will feel like a big weight has been lifted off your shoulders!
Ceremony plans can follow suit at either the venue, church, beach or whatever your little hear may might desire!
HIRE A PHOTOGRAPHER
Another big piece to secure early is your photographer, especially if you are looking for a summer wedding! We were fortunate enough to have a relationship with a photographer, Iron and Honey, who shoots all my blog material. We are so thrilled to spend our special day with her! Always start with a connection and ask friends if they have anyone they would recommend – it’s always good to have context on the photographer and their work. The Knot is a good resource for find photographers that are local and rated by real people – it’s like yelp for weddings!
BOOK THE BAND / DJ
I felt like we were racing to find a band that was within our budget and had our wedding date free – they book so quickly it’s crazy! We used The Knot again to find a band in our area – we read the reviews, stalked their webpage and listened to countless Youtube vides of them! Before we booked the band, we requested to hear them play live, just to make sure we were making the right decision. If you have the ability to do that, I would – I love our band, but there were a couple singers I didn’t like. Does that sound mean? Maybe. But at the same time, we are paying them a lot of money to perform at our special day – we wanted it to be perfect.
SECURE A WEDDING PLANNER / COORDINATOR
To me a day-of wedding coordinator is the best thing wedding money can buy. You don’t want to be responsible for ANYTHING on the wedding day – you want to have the ability to be present the entire time! I met with a couple before I landed on one that worked best for Brian and I – sitting down for 30 minutes to get to know a potential planner is a must! Over the course of your planning period, they will be your best friend! They are worth saving the money for and will save you a lot of heartache – remember, they are the experts 🙂
There is no rhyme or reason to planning a wedding, but securing the venue and booking your main vendors is something to focus on in the first 1-2 months. Once you have those elements out of the way, you can take some time to breathe! Stay tuned for next weeks post on invites and wedding websites!